Home   News   Article

NC500 request local opinions in bid to ‘reduce negative impacts of tourism’

By Iona M.J. MacDonald

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Ullapool shorefront.
Ullapool shorefront.

The NC500 say they “want to reduce the negative impacts of tourism”, as they ask for feedback from local residents and businesses in a new survey about the controversial Highland tourist route.

Explaining that “growth in 2024 doesn’t necessarily mean more visitors”, the North Coast 500 has launched a “visitor pledge” feedback survey about the impacts of the route. The NC500 created a tourism boom for small Highland communities over the last few years — and while it has provided a welcomed boost for local businesses, the route has also been met with criticism.


• NC500 biker gets trip cut short after motorhome incident on Wester Ross single-track road

• 24 motorists caught speeding on North Coast 500 during weekend police operation

• Porsche driving at 142mph on A832 sparks ‘our roads aren’t race tracks for tourists’ response

• NC500 hotspot Ullapool sees campers pitch up on village park

• Torridon death of NC500 deer Callum sparks ‘horrified’ calls to ‘stop feeding wild animals’

The North Coast 500, introducing their survey said: “This year our campaign is a bit different, growth in 2024 doesn’t necessarily mean more visitors, but rather ensuring that we are able to influence visitor behaviour. We want to reduce the negative impact of tourism, as such our 2024 marketing campaign will centre around our brand new Visitor Pledge.

“Created as a response to the problems being experienced in the north Highlands with regards to certain tourist behaviours and increasing visitor numbers, the pledge reflects our commitment to sustainable tourism and preserving the north Highlands for future generations. This pledge is not about anything else, but our responsibility to ensure visitors are educated on the social and environmental impact that they may have.

“Visitors do not intentionally seek to have a negative impact on the places they visit. However, when travellers lack information about how to behave responsibly in a new environment or culture, then this can result in inappropriate behaviours and associated negative impacts. Behaviour change is therefore dependent on increased information and education.

“Ultimately, the long-term goal of the pledge is to positively influence behaviour and to inspire greater respect for the natural environment and local culture as well as ensuring visitor safety.

“As a business owner or resident of the North Highlands we would love your input and feedback as we develop this pledge. Please take the time to answer some key questions that will aid us in this development.”

The tourism company went on to say that their website will also feature a new page asking “visitors to pledge to adhere to the behaviour outlined” as a part of the new pledge.

The survey asks a total of 21 questions, about the positive and negative effects of tourism, as well as environmental concerns and social issues on the NC500.

See the visitor pledge feedback survey here.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More